Golf Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open

Golf Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open article feature image

Brian Spurlock, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Matt Kuchar

  • The PGA Tour heads to TPC Scottsdale for the Waste Management Phoenix Open this weekend.
  • Jon Rahm is the betting favorite, but our experts are looking elsewhere for their favorite bets this weekend.

If you love raucous crowds, the Waste Management Phoenix Open is right up your alley.

The Waste Management Open has become one of the must-watch tournaments of the season and it’s always interesting to see which players can handle playing in front of an unpredictable crowd.

Jon Rahm (7-1) is the outright favorite with Justin Thomas (9-1), Hideki Matsuyama (10-1), Tony Finau (18-1) and Xander Schauffele (18-1) rounding out the top five.

Our golf experts each picked their favorite bet for what always is a wild weekend of golf.

Jason Sobel

Phil Mickelson top-five result (+475)

Two weeks ago, my favorite bet at the Desert Classic was Mickelson to finish in the top-20 at +125. He easily took all of the sweat out of that bet with a runner-up result.

I’m going bigger this time.

We can get nearly 5-to-1 at Phil finishing in the top-five, which might seem like fair-market value considering his recent results here. He tends to finish top-five every five years, doing so in 2008, 2013 and 2018.

That hardly tells the entire story, though.

In 29 total starts, he’s cashed $4,198,677, over a million more than the next closest player. He owns a share of the low 72-hole score, two shares of the low 18-hole score and a share of the low back-nine score.

And, oh by the way, he’s running hot right now, fresh off that T-2 in his last start and refreshed after taking Torrey Pines off his schedule for the first time as a pro.

Expect another really good one for Lefty, as a title contention should offer a solid payday. (And for those who prefer to hedge, he’s +197 to finish top-10.)


Sungjae Im (-110) over Kyle Stanley

I know that Kyle Stanley is a past winner of this tournament, but as we spoke about on the podcast, I think Sungjae Im is the most under-the-radar player on the PGA Tour.

Every current PGA and current or former Tour player that we’ve talked to raves about Im’s game and thinks he is going to win at some point this season. When I constantly hear the same being repeated over and over by Tour players who know the game better than anyone, I start to listen.

I think Sungjae is a great play this week over Kyle Stanley, especially with Stanley coming off a missed cut at Torrey Pines and slightly off form.

Justin Bailey

Tony Finau over Gary Woodland (-115)

Finau doesn’t have the course history here that Woodland has, but I’d rather bet on long-term form, where Finau has the edge in nearly every metric I am looking at except greens in regulation.

  • Adjusted Round Score: 68.2 vs. 68.9
  • Greens in Regulation: 69.6% vs. 71.4%
  • Driving Distance: 314 vs. 311.6
  • Putts Per Round: 29 vs. 30.1
  • Birdies per Tournament: 16.4 vs. 14.9
  • Missed-Cut Rate: 7% vs. 20%
  • Par-4 scoring: -1.3 adjusted strokes vs. -0.4
  • Par-5 scoring: -5.6 adjusted strokes vs. -5.5

Woodland’s ninth-place finish at Torrey Pines could’ve been much worse if it wasn’t for his absurd 77.8% scrambling rate, which is nearly 23% higher than his 54.9% long-term average. Finau put together a 13th-place finish at Torrey, but I like him to edge out Woodland this week.

Peter Jennings

Hideki Matsuyama (+150) over Jon Rahm

In general I do not bet against the tournament favorite and I am very bullish on Rahm this week, but my favorite player in all formats at the Phoenix Open is Hideki Matsuyama and I cannot pass on getting +150 on him in any matchup.

Hideki has the lowest course adjusted round score (67) on FantasyLabs and in great form. As we talked about on the podcast, Matsuyama is still undervalued in the golf markets coming off his wrist injury last year.

These two players are priced similarly in every market but this matchup, Matsuyama is $10,700 on Draftkings and Rahm is $11,500. If you love both players invest in Matsuyama in this matchup and take Rahm on Draftkings.

Josh Perry

Matt Kuchar to Top 20 (+110)

Phoenix is a place where Kuch has stacked up good results throughout his career. He’s finished fifth and ninth here in the last two years and was also sixth back in 2009.

Couple that with a bit of a career resurgence the last few months, winning a pair of titles, and he’s coming in with the best form he’s had in awhile. I like the plus money here on a guy here who trending in the right direction.